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Harney must act on mental health

22 July, 2005

Sinn  Féin  Social  Affairs  spokesperson  Seán  Crowe TD has said that the
Minister  for  Health  and  Children  Mary  Harney  must  act to reform and
resource  mental health services. He said her claimed shock at the state of
facilities  for the mentally ill “lacks credibility given that she has been
in Government for the past seven years.”

Responding  to  the  publication  of the Annual Report of the Mental Health
Commission and the Inspector of Mental Health Services, Deputy Crowe said:

“Yet  again  a  report  has  highlighted  unacceptable  conditions  for the
mentally  ill  in  hospitals and the unacceptable number of people in those
facilities  who should be more appropriately cared for elsewhere. While the
establishment of the Mental Health Commission was a step forward its report
highlights problems that have long existed and continue to exist because of
the low priority given to the mentally ill by successive governments.

“Minister Harney’s claimed shock at conditions for some of the mentally ill
lacks  credibility given that she has been in Government for the past seven
years.  The poor state of mental health services has been raised repeatedly
in the Dáil but this Government has failed to act to provide the reform and
resources needed. This latest report should be acted upon by the Minister.”

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